racism / US Politics

Build Unity to Smash Fascism (2011 from the files)


Previously published as a Socialist Action leaflet for the counter demonstration against the Nazi National Socialist Movement in Trenton, NJ in April of 2011. smashfash

Build Unity to Smash Fascism

Far right movements are growing in the US and Europe. They fan the flames of Islamophobia, racism and anti-immigrant hysteria. Here in the US, the so-called Tea Party, the immigrant bashing Minutemen and Nazi groups, like the NSM, all contain the elements of a fascist movement, but there is not a mass fascist movement in the sense of Italy or Germany during the rise of fascism.

It is critical that these ultraright movements are opposed before they reach the point of becoming mass movements. Fascism is a weapon that the ruling class uses against the working class and oppressed. This comes in a situation where the ruling class feels a threat to its continued dominance from a rising workers movement. In Italy and Germany it was the threat of the Communist movement inspired by the Russian Revolution, and in the context of economic crises.  The goal of the ruling class is not just to tame the workers movement but to defeat the unions and all independent expressions of the working classes.

“And the fascist agency, by utilizing the petty bourgeoisie as a battering ram, by overwhelming all obstacles in its path, does a thorough job. After fascism is victorious, finance capital directly and immediately gathers into its hands … all the organs and institutions of sovereignty, the executive, administrative, and educational powers of the state:….”    FASCISM: What it is and how to fight it by Leon Trotsky

The most important tool we have is the united front- The united front has been historically based on limited agreements between mass workers’ organizations, like trade unions and mass socialist parties.

We advocate the unity in action of all organizations of the oppressed and the working class, independent of the two capitalist parties. The sectarian refusal of the Communists in Germany to build a united front with the socialists paved the way for Hitler’s rise to power. Together the socialist and communist workers could have crushed the Nazis. We can smash the ultraright through mass counter mobilization – by literally driving them from the streets with the united mass action of all workers and oppressed people. This has to be based on the organizations of the oppressed  nationalities and the workers – the unions and other workers organizations.

No small group – no matter how dedicated can substitute itself for the masses. Another tool in the fight against the ultraright are defense guards organized by workers organizations. These are not isolated elite fighting groups, but defense groups with roots in the class and community.  

The question of self defense and mutual defense is something we must take seriously. Defense guards are the embryo of the workers militia which are themselves instruments of the working class struggle for power. All oppressed peoples and workers’ organizations have the right to organize defense guards to defend themselves against Fascist attacks. We can’t rely on cops and courts. We don’t appeal to the “authorities” to stop fascism. We can’t rely on bourgeois legality.

The capitalist state is not our friend. Often, cops and the so-called authorities are in league with fascism. In Italy and Germany the police provided the fascists with resources, weapons and training. You can’t fight the ultraright halfway with appeals to the lesser evil and “moderate” politicians. The Democrats will give ground to the right and co-opt rightist positions to keep power. Ultimately the defeat of fascism and the far right will come only with the working class and oppressed taking political power and building a democratic socialist state. Our best self-defense against fascism is socialist revolution.

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